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Dietary advice for Stress and Sleep

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A healthy, balanced diet can influence our stress levels and our ability to sleep. Learn more here.

Dietary advice for Stress and Sleep

Dietary advice for Stress and Sleep


Eating foods rich in tryptophan or melatonin close to bedtime can help.

Cherries are one of the only food sources of melatonin – a chemical that is essential for the body to regulate sleep. 

Dairy products contain tryptophan, used by the brain to create the chemicals required for sleep. Eating some yoghurt or having a glass of warm milk before bedtime may help. Tryptophan is also found in bananas along with potassium. 

Research has shown that potassium may be one of the elements responsible for deep slow-wave sleep, so bananas may be especially beneficial.


A balanced, nutritious diet based on wholegrains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and adequate good-quality protein helps to provide the basic nutrients your body needs to prevent depletion of your physical reserves as this leads to stress and sometimes depression.

Many people find that by avoiding stimulants such as tea, coffee and sugary foods, they cope better with stress and experience less irritability and insomnia. 

Small regular healthy snacks help to maintain your energy throughout the day and stave off hunger pangs and cravings. 

Headaches and Migraines

Diet is an important factor and it is best to avoid coffee, chocolate, cheese and orange juice, these being the most common allergens. Raw ginger (juiced into smoothies or cooked lightly in stir fries) can also have a beneficial effect. Capsicum (hot cayenne pepper) has also been found to be helpful.

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